Oh, friends…the time has come for me to beg and plead:Can we please stop judging the decisions of others? Please?

Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, we do it every day. It's so damaging and I find those of us with any insecurities can fall victim to the judging trap time and time again. That's where it starts, right? With insecurities? Then the negativity begins, people start lashing out and damn it, someone is going to lose an eye.

Let’s be very clear: you and I are not the same. That’s okay. We’re not supposed to be exact replicas of one another. Life would be so incredibly boring if we were! We are all different and the sooner we figure that out, the better.

I’d like to offer a few examples. You know, just to illustrate my point. These are not all-encompassing by any stretch (read: I could go on…), but they’ll suffice:

Travel

I’m choosing to travel now. Not later. Not when we retire. Not when we win the lottery. N O W.

Guess what? If you want to wait to travel, that’s completely up to you. I will never judge you for that. I’m sure you have your reasons and there is no doubt in my mind that they are solid, legitimate reasons. So, please…and I’m begging here…do not judge me for taking advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.

In the same vein, please don’t judge the way I travel.

We really love experiencing the good ol' US of A. This country has so much to offer in terms of natural beauty, vibrant cities, wildlife, etc. and we enjoy taking it all in. If you want to visit Fiji before you’ve seen the Grand Canyon, be my guest. I’m sure Fiji is beautiful this time of year. The Grand Canyon, however, is much higher on my travel list, so that’s where I’m going to go. Other countries are on my list, don’t get me wrong, they’re just not at the tippy top.

Sometimes when we travel, we rough it. Sometimes we go for the high-end option. Sometimes our plans fall somewhere in between. It depends where we’re going and what our budget will allow. That being said, why on earth would you think it’s okay to negatively comment on how much we spend (or don’t spend) on accommodations or activities? I would never comment on your travel plans in a negative way. Why? Because you’re excited to go and your plans clearly make you happy. If you’re happy, I’m happy for you. It’s really a very simple concept.

Babies

We’re choosing not to have any. Now, control yourselves….it will all BE OKAY. I promise.

This is a choice we have given much thought to and are currently super happy with. My guess is that it's similar to the happiness you feel with your choice to have babies. And good on ya! Children are amazing and I think those who raise children are just as amazing. I am so thrilled to see loving, responsible adults raise children. Many in my circle of friends and family are clearly happier with children than they were without them, which makes me so happy for them.

We have our reasons for not having children, but those reasons not up for negotiation. Just like your reasons for having children are not up for negotiation. Discussion? Sure. Negotiation? No. Judgement? Absolutely not.

It happens, let me tell you. We don’t judge you for having children, so please do not judge us or try to convince us that we're wrong. Who knows, maybe we’ll change our minds (doubtful, but we reserve the right), but isn’t that up to us?

At any rate, I’m fairly certain it’s not up to you.

Sidebar (because it needs to be said):

Please don’t be the gal who jumps in and starts talking about how my lady parts are aging and I should really get on that baby-making train. Never—not ONCE—have I opened the door to discussion regarding my lady parts. Speak to me about my lady parts without my permission again and we won’t be friends anymore. Got it?

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Please know that when I make big decisions in life, I do my best to make them with care and without malice toward others. Ultimately, I’m pretty happy with my choices and if things don’t work out, I’ll simply make a different choice.

I operate under the notion that you, too, are capable of making decisions with care and without malice toward others. I am certain that you are doing your best to make decisions in your life that you can be happy with. If you’re not happy and need make a different decision, you’ll get no judgment from me.

So often, we compare ourselves to one another in such superficial ways. We use yardsticks like travel, children, homes, education and careers to see how we measure up. When placed in the big picture that is life, however, these areas can hold very little value, especially if one is not happy with one’s own decisions. Additionally, there are very few right or wrong choices to be made in these areas (aside from moral/legal issues, of course). In fact, I'd argue that the words "right" and "wrong" are doing us a disservice here. One person’s right decision is another person's wrong decision. It's not about right or wrong, in this case.

It's about embracing our differences rather than judging each other for them. It's about being happy for those around us when they make decisions that enrich their lives. We’re all different and we choose to live life the way we see fit. And that’s okay.

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Disclaimer: The pronouns used in this post are not intended for anyone in particular. All pronouns were simply used as tools to convey a message about the general state of things.

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